Please, Sir, I Want Some More

With great fondness for my high school literature class days, I recall Charles Dickens' frequently quoted Oliver Twist character infamously requesting a second helping of food. The quote serves well to liken what you're getting in this month's issue.

Not unlike how Dickens shared monthly installments of his novel in a magazine, titled Bentley's Miscellany (I'll claim no further similarity!), I'm starting with a second installment on last month's editorial but finishing with a visit to another favorite subject that warrants updated coverage on slitting/rewinding content.

Last month I asked you to share your secret for keeping pace with demand. I received an illuminating comment from LAR-i.e., a Loyal Anonymous Reader:

Your optimism is always appreciated, and I believe supported by the success of the ICE USA meeting, the Critical Trends Survey, and the record attendance at the FTA Forum/INFO*FLEX. In our particular niche industry of envelopes, the backlogs are growing, and the converters are experiencing, for the first time in years, the ability to slightly raise prices.

With regard to the machinery manufacturers, I believe there is a slight light at the end of the tunnel. Rebuilds and upgrades to existing equipment seem to be on the up-swing, and there is increasing interest and actually some purchases of new equipment.

In the overall paper converting machinery industry, there seems to be significant new business for machinery and upgrades.

Hopefully, all this will continue, and as the users of equipment begin to make capital equipment investments in new machinery, the equipment manufacturers will recognize the need to expand their capacities to meet the demand. Right now we…are booked to capacity through the end of the year but fortunately can still solicit new orders because of the normal long manufacturing lead times. I just wanted you to know that I think you got it right in your most recent editorial.

Further comments are welcome on this subject!

Now, as for this month's focus on slitting and rewinding, I must admit some pride in the presentation of our new Contract Slitting Directory. I'll also admit that compared to previous attempts at providing a list of these services, this year's rendition is by far light years better. This year's Special Report on Slitting/Rewinding incorporates an innovation update by Catbridge's Michael Pappas, application stories from Atlas Converting Equipment, my outstanding new and improved Contract Slitting Directory, and an accompanying Custom Marketplace for contract slitting service providers. My undying thanks go to our “Web Lines” columnist Tim Walker for lending his expertise in developing a questionnaire with me as well as Metlon's Wayne Etchells for refining it; Cheryl Mangano for so expertly sending, receiving, organizing, and recording responses; and Michael Koch for artfully presenting this information.

Now, go enjoy another helping of knowledge!

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